June C-19 Update

UPDATED 6/8  The Dorothy Molter Museum will be opening by reservation only on Monday, June 15.

On June 5, the State of Minnesota provided guidance for “recreational indoor entertainment venues” via the Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan. We are basing all of our new operational plans on these recommendations.

How do people register?

We will be launching our online registration system by June 10. Those wishing to reserve an hour time slot earlier may call and leave a message (218 365 4451) or email info@rootbeerlady.com. Once this system is live, it will be linked via our homepage and all pages under the Visit tab.

What will the hours be? 

We will start by being available for reservations daily in one-hour increments from 8am-7pm (last visit 7-8pm). Reservations will be allowed online until 24-hours before the preferred time. Those interested in visiting inside that 24-hour window should call for availability. Longer time slots may be arranged by phone depending on availability at no extra charge.

This new system has already evolved a bit and will likely change more as time goes on so that we can collect feedback and make improvements as necessary. Please understand that our current situation is not desirable on our part compared to how we’ve historically operated but we are looking forward to welcoming you back to the Museum and hope that you will work with us to help make this new visitation plan work.

Will guided tours be available?

We will try to do a brief, introductory mini-tour as staffing allows for each reservation, but will not physically guide groups through the cabins like we have in past seasons.

We have a virtual tour available!

The Dorothy Molter Museum’s tour can be accessed on a web browser or via a free downloadable app for Android and iPhone. This app can be used during your visit as an alternate tour guide with imagery and an audio option to listen while you explore! More information.  Clio is an online platform for using technology to tour a historic site both during a physical visit and from afar.

What requirements to we have for visitors? 

  • Staff and visitors are required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth
    • Disposable masks available for $1.00 each
    • We strongly encourage all visitors to prepare to wear a mask while exploring Ely in general
  • Visitors are required to use the hand-sanitizer upon entering the Interpretive Center (each time)
    • Alternative: bathroom sink available for hand-washing
  • Adherence to all directional and instructional signage
  • Only touching retail merchandise if there is an intent to purchase

How will we communicate these expectations to our visitors?
This information will be clearly communicated during the online and phone registration process, online here on this site, here in our blog, via our email newsletter (sign up at bottom of homepage) in our Hours & Admissions and Programs & Events pages – or you are welcome to contact us via our social channels or email with questions.

Rest assured, the Museum has already implemented a safety plan that includes:

  • Physical barriers between staff and visitors in the Interpretive Center and Gift Shop
  • Adapted Visitor’s Guides for proper disinfection after each use
  • A one-way entrance/exit system that may be altered for those with physical mobility limitations
  • Created a cleaning protocol
    • After each group
    • Every 4 hours
    • At the end of the day

What else should you be aware of?
We are bracing for what will be a challenging year and do have concerns about our ability to generate the revenue that carries the organization through the entire fiscal year. Here are some of the challenges we are facing and ask for your patience, understanding and cooperation:

  • We are unable to offer weekly/monthly public programs or events
  • We are unaware if we’ll be able to offer private classes for groups of 10 or fewer
  • We are unable to hire additional seasonal staff due to the uncertainty of work available
  • We are limiting retail merchandise inventory purchases to best-sellers and online favorites, which also financially impacts our vendors

Exploring how public visitation will look in light of physical distancing guidelines in an evolving situation means we will be constantly evaluating our operational plans.

We are personally experiencing this just as you are, with fears and concern for our own families and community but also with hope and a feeling that supporting each other during this time is important for positive mental health and sense of community.

If you are in a position to help the Museum navigate the next few months with a financial contribution, we would be very grateful.

Take care and stay healthy.

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